Our star: Amazigh music and the production of intimacy in 2011 Libya

Leila Tayeb*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores the production and circulation of Amazigh music among Libyans between 2011 and 2013. It takes as a focal point the performance archive of Serbian-Libyan Amazigh singer Dania Ben Sasi, whose Amazigh-language music found unprecedented fame in Libya in 2011. Through close readings of her initial musical recording of that year, interviews with Ben Sasi and listeners, analysis of performances onstage and in daily life, and drawing on ethnographic fieldwork undertaken in Libya, Serbia, and Tunisia, I present a brief history of a temporary moment of political possibility. I suggest that the formation of an intimate public around Amazigh music in Libya offered glimpses of an unfinished future in which popular practices of recognition could still be built.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)834-850
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of North African Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 20 2018


  • Affect
  • Amazigh
  • Berber
  • intimate public
  • Libya
  • music

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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